44.Third Aunt ‘s altercation with Mrs. Qiao
However, Lian Fang Zhou stopped him. She told him: "You're completely innocent. You are dignified and rightly staying at our home. I'm not even afraid, so why would you? If you left at this time, wouldn't it make it even more unexplainable! It's better that you stay. After a while, everyone will naturally understand your character."
Not know why, but the appearance of Ah Jian is visible evidence right now. Whoever saw him before would realize he is a straightforward and upright person. Even Aunt Zhang didn't say anything about him staying in their home out of goodwill.
Not only does Lian Fang Zhou persist on Ah Jian staying, but she also didn't allow Lian Ze go to bother Mrs. Qiao. Instead, she troubled Third Aunt to instigate.
Third Aunt looked forward to the chance of going to Mrs. Qiao and berated her. She clapped her hands in joy and said to Lian Fang Zhou before heading to Lian Li's house: "Fang Zhou, wait right there! That wicked heart dead bitch, she can't stand seeing others well off!"
Third Aunt headed to Lian Li and Mrs. Qiao's yard and sat at the entrance. She slapped her thigh and started wailing. Crying that her brother and sister-in-law are heartless, seeing that she is suffering and ignore it. With much difficulties, she finally settled down at her nieces' and nephews,' and they started to instigate incidents with all possible method again. They can't stand seeing her well off and start a rumor to create trouble, ruining the nieces' and nephews' reputation. How frightening these intentions are, to not care about the blood relationship between them.
Initially, Third Aunt's sharp tongue is very unforgiving, that's why there's discord between her and her in-law. Before coming here, she got some pointer from Lian Fang Zhou, and she is also someone who goes all out and harbor deep hatred toward Mrs. Qiao. So she spares no effort when she bawled.
She cried and yelled at the top of lungs by herself, not caring that Mrs. Qiao can't discern what is happening. Everyone spectating felt pity for her the more they hear her complain in tears and started whispering. The eyes glancing at Mrs. Qiao changed.
Seeing the situation, Lian Li and Mrs. Qiao became angry, distressed and mad. They were impatient to pull Third Aunt into the house and then talk.
It's just that there's the ethic of no close contact between male and female once they're seven, even if Lian Li is her older brother. He is still a male. Also though the countryside isn't very particular about virtues, but the main rules still cannot be broken. Under everyone's gazes, it's not convenient for him to pull Third Aunt himself.
First, let's not talk about the problem of manners, but he's very sure if he dares to reach out his hand to pull, his sister will take the opportunity to wail out slanders.
No other way, only Mrs. Qiao could up to pull her. Mrs. Qiao even hoped for Third Aunt to resist. Making a move to fight with her would be even better.
However this time, Third Aunt became clever, when Mrs. Qiao came to pull her, she dodged instead of resisting. Not going as Mrs. Qiao wished, starting a fight.
Mrs. Qiao became mad and anxious. Both hands held her arm in a death grip and yelled. "I say, Third Aunt, if you have something to say then stand up first! Making a scene like this, what does it look like? Don't act so shamelessly! Even if you don't give us face, at least save your face!"
"AHH... AHH.." Third Aunt screamed in pain. As she struggled, she yelled: "Let go, let me go! You're squeezing me to death! It hurt like hell!"
"I didn't even..." Hearing Third Aunt was shouting and yelling as she accused her, Mrs. Qiao was so angry. Just when she about refuted her, a 'rip' could be heard. Third Aunt's sleeve has been torn off by her!
Mrs. Qiao was immediately stunned on the spot.
Third Aunt quickly took back her arm, and shouted even louder: "Sister-in-law! How vicious! Don't think because you have a son studying for xiucai exam, that you can act so condescending! I let you know since you treat your sister-in-law so black-hearted like this, other people could say 'How could a son from this family possibly have any good character or conduct? And also what qualification to take the Xiucai exam?'. Then your son can forget about it. Under everyone's face, you dare secretly viciously pinch me, wring my flesh and rip off my clothes. If no one were here, then wouldn't you have killed me? I ... I shall go to the County School and discuss with the school teacher tomorrow!"
Third Aunt smirked inside. If she didn't make perfect preparation, would she have come? If Mrs. Qiao didn't make a move, then it's okay. But once she makes her move, her clothes would split into a big gap.
Seeing Mrs. Qiao's face going from green to white from anger, Third Aunt was delighted inside!
Everyone spectating couldn't help gasp and looked at each other: Mrs. Qiao have a venomous heart! In the beginning, she was resolute in not letting sister-in-law enter. Now she even tore off sister-in-law's clothes and also wring her. Really-
Immediately someone came over and supported Third Aunt up and with light and sweet voice, she comforts her. And they also helped sort out the clothes and hair.
Remembering Lian Fang Zhou's words, Third Aunt immediately made her appearance pitiful with the trickling tears and choking weep. Wanting to cry but not as she gave her thanks. This made everyone sighed continuously.
Mrs. Qiao was having a fit. She has never be wronged like this before. Seeing Third Aunt like this, she was so mad that her blood pressure was rising. Pointing at her, she yelled with hatred: "You dead shrew, pretending to be pitiful! Just now, who didn't see you being so unruly? There's no use acting! I didn't pinch you and also didn't use any strength. Your clothes were flimsy. Now you're blaming this old lady!"
"Don't want people to live!" Immediately Third Aunt covered her face and sobbed: "The reason I was unruly is that if I don't be unruly how do I deal with people like you? It was you ripping my clothes, and now you turn it around to bite me. Truly vicious! Tomorrow I must go to the county academy and ask the teacher, how could a son raised by this family take xiucai exam and become an official? The proverb is right, those in subordinate positions will follow the example set by their superiors. If he gets the Xiucai, then wouldn't it be worse! Don't talk about me; even the whole village be bully to death by your family!"
When they heard this, everyone faces wholly changed, and all can't help but discuss. Started talking about Mrs. Qiao being at fault.
Initially, everyone towards Mrs. Qiao boasting about her son having good grades at the county academy and usually receive the teacher's compliment, felt envious. Now hearing these words, how could it not become worse? And what's more, if her son passes Xiucai and becomes an official in the future, let's not talking about him, just with his parents, who knows how they would bully people!
Hearing this, Lian Li also become a bit perturbed. He went up and roared at Third Aunt: "Don't speak nonsense here! Hmph, you think anyone can enter the county's academy just because they want to? The teacher there care about the grades, what does it have to with other things? Hmph, if you have the skills then go try!"
"Alright!" Third Aunt raised her voice: "This is what you said! Tomorrow I'll go. Wait for it. I'll go! I don't believe I can't get into the academy and can't ask the teacher!"
It's not that Third Aunt isn't fearful inside. What kind of place is the county academy? How could she dare throw a fit there?
But Lian Fang Zhou said it wouldn't be a problem to tell it like this, so she picks up her courage saying this.
Initially, Lian Li just wanted to scare her, thinking that if he says it like this and she'll become afraid. Instead, it provokes her to go.
Internally Lian Li became even more agitated.
Especially when he recalls the current Lian Fang Zhou, don't know why he believes Lian Fang Zhou is someone who isn't afraid of trouble.
He started to feel regrets, if he knew early why would he say such ruthless words to stimulate Third Aunt?
If they take the matter to the academy, first let's not talk about who's wrong, it would affect his son! And more or less, from the beginning, his wife is in the wrong in this matter
Let's not discuss whether she pinched Third Aunt or not, but she indeed did rip Third Aunt's sleeve! Can't even deny it since everyone saw it.
If Third Aunt was provoked to go, then it's hard to say what'll happen to his son's future.
At this moment Lian Li resent Mrs. Qiao to death. Now really don't know what to do.
Xiucai-Literal meaning- distinguished talent or another name for student member for this degree.
Degree in exam system in ancient China: Tongsheng, Xiucai, Juren, Gongshi, Jinshi. (ref:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imperial_examination#Degree_types)